The circle of life.

Today we met Julie’s new dog, Blake.  She’s a good doggie, and I know will bring much happiness into eachothers lives.

IMG_3264 Today we also learned that another one of our canine friends, Kokopelli (aka “the Admiral”), left us for the big boat in the sky.  Farewell, Koko, you were a great boat dog, and a good friend to Marty and Sue for many years.  Sail on…. we’ll miss you.1-DSCN3701

April 8 – Our last night.

Tuesday, April 8.

This morning we dinghied over to shore to tour the shops and artists’ wares at Trellis Bay.

Welcome to Trellis Bay.

Welcome to Trellis Bay.

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One of the bathyspheres that they cut away to make the fireballs for the full-moon parties.

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We missed Full Moon by about a week this trip.  Next trip we'll definitely have to book during a Full Moon!

We missed Full Moon by about a week this trip. Next trip we’ll definitely have to book during a Full Moon!

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On the sail back to Fat Hog’s Bay today, Susanne was at the helm and Laura worked the lines by herself.  They’ve both done really well with learning the ins and out of the boat, and they’re bonifide sailors now!

We got to the marina in time to finish up the closing paperwork on the charter.   We’ll spend the night on the dock, since our flight leaves at 7:30 AM tomorrow.  It’s a bittersweet day.   Sad that it’s almost over.   But ecstatic to use the showers at the marina!

We walked over to Red Rock for an amazing dinner.   A perfect last supper for a fantastic trip.  So many great memories and experiences.   As always, I already can’t wait to come back.

April 6 – Staying put.

Sunday, April 6.

After the marathon day we had yesterday, we’re taking it easy today.   We all dinghied over to Cistern Point and snorkeled for quite a while.

More swimming with the fishies.

More swimming with the fishies.

Between Cistern Point and our boat, a turtle was hanging out.  He was one cool dude – he didn’t mind that we floated close by to watch him for quite a while.   These are the best pictures I’ve gotten of a turtle of all my Caribbean trips.  I like how the colors get clearer and more vibrant as he gets closer to the surface.

Turtle dude surfacing - 1

Turtle dude surfacing – 1

Turtle dude surfacing - 2

Turtle dude surfacing – 2

Turtle dude surfacing - 3

Turtle dude surfacing – 3

The guys are headed back to Jost again today.   Tan-a-na’s crew leaves early tomorrow morning, so they are headed back to Tortola to spend the night at the marina.  After lunch we shopped ashore and enjoyed people/boat watching all afternoon, before hitting happy hour again on Cooper.

Cooper Island palms.

Cooper Island palms.

For sunset, we dinghied out to the mouth of the bay, beyond the anchorage, to get an unobstructed view of the sun setting over Tortola.

Sunset behind Tortola - viewed from Cooper Island

Sunset behind Tortola – viewed from Cooper Island

 

April 5 – A long day.

Saturday, April 5.

We headed out early this morning, by 7:30AM.   Winds are still 20+ knots.  3-5′ seas, very rough.  Luckily the rain seems to have passed.  We sailed it to Soper’s Hole, to go through BVI Customs & Immigration again.  We picked up a few more provisions there, but quickly headed back out to make Cooper Island by sunset, and join up again with Maggie and Tan-a-na.

The BVI Spring Regatta is in full swing this week.  We got a front-row seat of some of the races as we cruised across the channel to Cooper Island.

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We pulled into Machioneel Bay at 4pm, at exactly the same time Maggie did.  After a quick dip we all met up at the Cooper Island Beach Club for Happy Hour and dinner.  It’s good to have the gang back together.

Cooper Island has the best sunsets…..

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I ♥ Cooper.

 

April 3 – New day, new country.

Thursday, April 3.

This morning we topped up the water tank, got some ice and emergency provisions (i.e., Dove Bars) before heading out from Great Harbour.

Dove Bar wisdom.

Dove Bar wisdom.

Destination:  St. John’s of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Since we’ll be leaving BVI and entering USVI, we have to visit Customs & Immigration to check out before leaving here, and check in at Cruz Bay once arriving in St. Johns.   This is our first time to go to USVI by boat from BVI and deal with the Customs/Immigration thing.   I’ll let you know later if it’s worth it.

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We didn’t go ashore in Cruz Bay other than to clear customs.   We caught a ball in Caneel Bay and ate lunch, then waited through some rain showers for the other 2 boats’ crews to come back to make a plan for the night.   The original plan was to stay in Leinster Bay on the north side of St. John’s.  But we’re getting intermittent rain stroms, and the wind is really kicking up now.  So, the NE swells would make for a very rough mooring.  Instead, Monte suggested Lameshur Bay on the south side of the island.   Maggie stayed in Caneel Bay, since they were unable to anchor if it turned out they didn’t get a mooring ball.   But Tan-a-Na and Jim’s Dream decided to make a run through the rain for a very remote and unspoiled Great Lameshur Bay, and got two of the last remaining mooring balls in time to watch a beautiful sunset.

A rain shower in the distance, from Lameshur Bay.

A rain shower in the distance, from Lameshur Bay.

Sunset over Great Lameshur Bay, St. John's, USVI

Sunset over Great Lameshur Bay, St. John’s, USVI

 

Faces in open places.

The weather this winter has been a roller coaster of sunny-and-70s then sleet-and-20s-and-30s. About three or four turns so far and one more on the way tomorrow. It was a beautiful day today, so I threw open the windows and took a walk through the greenbelt.
Along the way I came across this rock and saw a face in it (sort of). If i squint a bit i think i can make out Jay Leno…

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Viva amigas!

I went out to dinner tonight with a bunch of my girls.   We went to one of a kind Rainey Street in Austin – my first time there.   I had a wonderful time.  We ate at NO VA Kitchen & Bar.   The food was delicious.  Their white sangria is amazing.   The service was great.   I highly recommend it.   Afterwards we hopped around to a few other places and enjoyed sitting outside on the patio, with the sky flashing with the lightning of the cold front approaching from the northwest.

A cool light fixture above our table at NO VA:

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And a shot of part of their menu.   The ingredients listed for their white sangria include:  armagnac / aged rum / spiced pear / sage / vino blanco

delish!

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New dawn.

I woke up this morning extra early – given the time change yesterday.  This was the glorious sunrise sky that lay right out side the front door.  I was prompted to go out and take a look when i noticed that the light coming in through the windows was making the entire inside of the house glow pink.

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And, what is that sparkle on the horizon?  Could it be something new coming my way….?

Working on my wannado list.

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I don’t have an actual bucket list. I do have a long-memorized list of things that I’ve always wanted to try once. One of those is scuba diving. But, my aversion to larger-than-me fishes with sharp teeth has kept me from that one. Snorkeling will happily suffice for me.

Another one from my wannado list is skydiving. Well, this year I watched the construction and grand opening of an indoor skydiving funhouse in Austin called iFly. It’s basically a vertical wind tunnel in which you can experience free fall without the hassle of planes and parachutes. Works for me. And boy is it FUN!

Colleen and I each went 3 times. I will definitely go back again.

Check it out!

Vroom vroom.

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This weekend Lori & Dave are out of town, and Jake is staying with us.   He’s a great kid.  I don’t know who is keeping an eye on who.  :)  We had a fun pizza / game night last night with Doray, Tom, Sue & Marty.   It is so nice to spend time with friends.

Jake and I have been racing Mario Karts on the wii quite a bit this weekend, but today we headed to K1 Speed for the real thing.   It’s a pretty awesome indoor venue for kart racing.   This is not bumper cars, folks, these karts can go over 40 mph.   It was pretty fun!   That’s Jake in #25 in the shot above.   And I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in my cool racing hat…

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A fitting treatment.

My father-in-law served in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe in WWII.  So, when he died 10 years ago, his funeral included military honors.  At the family reunion this summer, Monte received from his sister the burial flag, which was still in the plastic zippered display pouch from the funeral home.  We’ve been displaying it on the shelf in the living room, but it deserves a much nicer treatment.   So, this week Monte set out to the shop to make a fine custom frame.   He used some beautiful black walnut that actually used to belong to his dad.   A day or two later, and it is done.  Complete with beautiful inset splines to join the corners, and a strip of cedar inside.

After placing the flag in its new display case, we acknowledged the upgrade with a toast of sparkling apple cider.  I’m sure Ross would approve of both :)

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I’m baaaack.

Wow, I’ve left Sheila365 untended for 3 weeks!  That’s the longest stretch without posting since I started this blog over 3 years ago.  But it’s not because I don’t have new photos.  Oh my, do I have photos!  We spent 2 jam-packed weeks in Seattle visiting family.  I worked the first week, but I was on vacation for the second week.  We celebrated birthdays, had great visits with my mom, all my siblings and their kids, and Monte’s nephew and his awesome family.  Watched kids soccer games, watched football games (go seahawks!), went golfing, went to the Port Townsend wooden boat show, spent a glorious day on the Seattle waterfront.  We’ve been back home for a week, but it was way too busy with work to attack the photos.  I just need to sit down and sort through them, to a pick a few to share.  But that’s not going to happen today, so let me just post this one, to get back into the blogging groove.  Happy Anniversary to us!  We’ve completed another ride together around the sun, with lots of great memories — looking forward to what we encounter on the next lap.
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A boatload of kids. Seriously.

Julie joined us on Nirvana for a raftup last night in Arky South with Rory & Greg on Sapphire.  Kurt, Barbara and some of their friends came out on Dancer and tied up to us until after sunset.  Nick & Isabel came motoring into the cove on Kalliopi right before sunset to join us.  Even from a distance, we could see many people on the deck of their boat.  As they came closer, we counted 14 teenagers + Isabel, Nick and Dmitri.  Whoooa nelly, that’s a lot of people.   And they were staying the night!  It was a going away party for Morgan who is heading to college next week.   Everyone had lots of fun.  And we didn’t lose anyone!  Never a dull moment. :)
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A fun but not-on-the-lake Sunday.

As much as we love spending our weekends on the lake, it’s nice to have a change of scenery every once in a while. I mean, we live in an awesome place; we have to get out and about. On the first Sunday of every month, the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum offers free admission to all their exhibits. So, we made plans to go today to see their current special exhibit on Texas Furniture. Here are a few scenes from our day…

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The iconic, iron lonestar out in front of the museum…it was a beautiful day…

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I snuck a pic from inside… shhh… a tad blurry, but a grand 4 poster bed…
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Lunch at Freddie’s…

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And, I finally got a picture of the Austin mural on South 1st street… it’s probably about time for some TLC – it’s showing a little wear and tear…

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And we wrapped up the day at the Zilker Hillside Theater.  Their 55th annual summer musical this year is Little Shop of Horrors.  It was a great show…

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G’nite all!